[BLDG-SIM] research on the diffusion of energy simulation software in the design practice

F.Altavilla e B.Vicari energysimulation2003 at yahoo.it
Tue Feb 24 05:49:02 PST 2004

Dear professional,



We are carrying out a survey on the employment of energy simulation software in the design of building systems. The research activity is made in collaboration between the Dipartimento di Energetica del Politecnico di Torino (prof. Marco Filippi) and the FAGO (Department of building physics) of the Technische Universiteit of Eindhoven (prof. Jan Hensen).


We kindly ask you to compile a questionnaire, mainly turned to consultant engineers, researchers and designers, sensitive to the principles of bioclimatic architecture. The aim is to understand how, in the design process, the building energy behaviour is estimated, in order to obtain its optimal energy performance. The main interest is turned to the reason why the energy simulation software is used or not during the normal design practice, what are their advantages and the obstacles that prevent their diffusion in the design and consultant engineers studios. 


We ask you to kindly compile the questionnaire, related to your professional interests, on Internet at the following addresses:


http://sts.bwk.tue.nl/sim/architects.asp  for architectural designers

http://sts.bwk.tue.nl/sim/engineers.asp  for consultant engineers and researchers


Below you can find a short explanation of some used terms.



Thanks for the attention, 


Kind regards


Francesca Altavilla e Barbara Vicari  

energysimulation2003 at yahoo.it









Analysis of the energy performance of the building, dynamically using the computer science modelling and the simulation techniques. The energy calculation of thermal loads and the energy consumptions of the building are taken in consideration, in order to determine the energy behaviour of the building systems.

Creating a virtual building in which the user can specify in detail the parameters that influence the energy behaviour of the building, the energy simulation expands further the concept of performance prediction, being the obtained results as close as possible to the reality.



The word "bioclimatic" wants to make a connection between the man, "bios", as the user of architecture, and the external atmosphere, the "climate", being the architecture the result of the interactions between them. 

Therefore "bioclimatic architecture" can be defined as the kind of architecture that optimizes the energy relations with the surrounding natural environment by means of its architectural design. The building adapts to the characteristics of the surrounding environment (vegetation, relieves, existing buildings, etc.) in order to obtain the greater advantage in thermal and lighting aspects, and improve its comfort conditions. 

The bioclimatic architecture therefore studies the typological solutions and the performances of the technological systems which better answer to the environmental and climatic characteristics of the site and which concur to obtain comfort conditions inside the buildings.


(3)   sustainable ARCHITECTURE 

According to a commonly accepted synthetic definition, it is possible to define sustainable those choices, concerning the development models, that concur to satisfy the actual needs without compromising the satisfaction of the future ones.

Therefore, the sustainable architecture tends to minimize, during its entire life cycle, the consumption of not renewable resources (employment of technologies which use renewable energy sources, environmental loads reduction, attention to the choice of building materials, building durability, eco-economic evaluation of the several phases of the building process, etc.) and the impact on the ecosystem, local and global, aiming to the protection of the human health (indoor air high quality, proper management of the project, etc.).


(4)   sustainable TECHNOLOGIES

Technologies that use the external climatic factors to control the indoor microclimate of the built environment, minimizing the consumption of exogenous energy.



The active technologies are also called "indirect" because they operate a transformation of the energy (for example the solar collectors for water heating and the photovoltaic systems are active technologies, as they collect the solar radiation and transform it in other forms of energy). 

Between these technologies, it is possible to distinguish those that use renewable energy sources (e.g. photovoltaic panels); from those that use not renewable energy sources (e.g. national nets of distribution).



In this group there are normally all the applications that use renewable energy, without any aid of engines, and distribute it by the natural phenomena of conduction, convection and radiation.

These technologies are also called "direct", because they use directly the energy, without further transformations; for instance glasshouses, wind towers, window systems, etc. are passive technologies.

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